A coworker of mine picked up a new to him cherokee lifted on 31's. He just got his locker installed in his front end and he was dying to get out and see what it would do. His brother has a cherokee also thats long armed, 33's?, locked front and rear, geared... the whole nine yards. they have a friend with a wrangler rubicon and lastly another guy from work in his mostly stock 93ish 4runner (manual) we all got out last night. the first time I have ever been up a trail, add in its in the dark, in my baby... ultimately it was AWESOME!
Sorry now as it was dark and pictures were not really an option but I have some today pictures of the dirty jeep.
about 3 minutes into my first trail "service 4wd system" popped up on my evic... awesome. Ultimately I was in 4 lo so I was not worried about not being able to get out, and before I knew it the message was gone and didnt return the rest of the night.
Our first big climb that took us around a sharp left around a tree followed by a right that hooked around and required backing up slightly to position the rigs to fit between 2 trees through some huge ruts... first time I got to use the rock sliders, also I think I bent the crap out of my rear swaybar endlinks, when I got it really flexed they were bangin around really hard back there (I installed some endlinks I got from a wrangler that were like 3" longer than my factory ones... they were free so I figured new endlinks that were an inch closer to stock was worth a shot. This first hill climb had the rubicon driver slightly upset as he struggled, my coworker in his cherokee went next and did pretty good but had the feeling I would struggle a bit. I crawled up around the first sharp turn swinging a bit wide around the tree, made the right turn, backed it up a bit and after trying 2 times to crawl it through the ruts I gave it about a 12" running start and bounced up through it.
They were ALL amazed at how well the grand did, they were all supprised at how much flexing it actually did. Actually I say all, and it was all, not including the wife... she was freaked out of her mind. Every time we came up a hill and would come on a really rutted section or had to crawl up roots between tight trees she was litterally having a panic attack in the passanger seat, to the point where I had to tell her to get out one time and watch from up the trail.
I got to test the rock sliders out and they did AWESOME, there were a couple really hard hits I took that the wife was thinking was demolishing the jeep but not so much, and other than some scratches the bars came out unscathed too.
To some pictures:
Testing the rock sliders at work before I just assumed they were going to hold on the trail... pretty good, no flexing or creaking, solid!
On the trail, all I had is my cell phone and you can see how much there was to see with my crappy cell phone cam, thus the reason there is only one. BTW this is just my HID 3k lows on in the picture, and really that is honestly mostly what I used (probably pretty stupid considering my first trip at night in a big grand cherokee on decently tight trails) but I tried to keep the blinding those infront of me to a minimum, when they got around a corner or ahead of me enough the lows, highs and fogs were blazin the trail.
Dont let the smile fool you, this one was at like 12:30 am and to the best of her knowledge we were not going down another trail ha ha. Oh, and dont mind the lap dog
Some aftermath, I wanted to get my Oregon ATV permit on the Jeep as a badge of honor but it was too cold and wet last night when I got it from my coworker who picked it up for me, so its in the center console awaiting a clean dry jeep to be installed on.
Evidence of the sliders doing their job
BTW these are the mopar accessory sliders. I am not 100% happy with their fitment, and my grand didnt have all the "bolt on installation" nut-sert holes, ok it didnt have any so 6 holes had to be drilled in the frame, pound the nutsert in and rip it down, furthermore the rear 2 brackets that bolt to the bottom of the frame didnt sit flush as the front mount had one more sheet of steel over it causing a gap in the rear mounts... nothing a washer wont resolve.
BTW we were in the Tillimook Forest in the browns camp area... good times, I cannot wait to get back out in the daylight (so I can actually see how stupid I was for doing what I did ha ha). I think my first "intermediate" trail was harder than the following "more difficult" trail... from there I quit looking at the signs and just making sure I was watching for objects trying to enflict pain on the jeep. The Grand had everyone supprised and was SO much fun to drive, I cannot tell you how it was to ride in but if there were any words to pull from my wifes face mid trail, sheer terror comes to mind ha ha.